When you have a medium to large breed dog you want them to enjoy being outside. Most breeds it’s in their instincts to explore and exercise. Both of these activities are a great way to promote a healthier lifestyle. When leaving your dog outside here are a few ideas to make their experience most pleasurable.
1. Dog Proof Fencing
Security should be your first priority. Your dog will try to get out for a lot of different reasons.
- Boredom – If your dog feels like the world outside the fence is more entertaining, they will be eager to experience it.
- Energy – A tired dog is a good dog. If they have a lot of energy bottled up it may give them the challenge to get out.
- Fear – If a dog doesn’t feel safe, they will try to find another place they are.
- Loneliness – Dogs that haven’t been spayed or neutered can have desires at certain times of the year.
- Curiosity – If your dog sees something interesting like another person, car, or cat, it could push them to try to investigate.
There are a lot of potential risks that a dog can run into if let out on their own. Such as getting hit by a car, getting into a fight with another animal, or even stolen.
2. Dog Porthole in Fence
To help keep your dog curiosity at bay, you might want to consider putting a viewing window or dog porthole in your fence. This gives them the ability to know what is beyond their confined space. It gives them a sense of socializing while keeping them safe.
3. Dog Friendly Plants
When landscaping your yard, do some research on how pet friendly your plants are. You don’t want to give your pet access to something that could potentially make them sick or even cause death. A lot of fruit plants and trees have a lot of risks for animals.
Common Safe Plants
- African Daisy
- African Violet
- Bachelors Buttons
- Blooming Sally
- Blue-Eyed Daisy
- Common Snapdragons
- Corn Flower
- Crape Myrtle
- Creeping Zinnia
- Easter Daisy
- Feather Palm
- Magnolia Bush
- Mulberry Tree
- Peruvian Lily
- Purple Passion Vine
- Spider Ivy
- Sweet Potato Vine
- Tiger Lily
4. Dog House
Just like people, every dog needs a home. This has a lot of benefits to it. It gives them a safe spot if they are scared. An escape spot for weather changes like getting out of the heat, staying dry from the rain, and to stay warm in a snowstorm.
Putting some bedding inside the house is also a good idea. This will prevent sores on their legs from the hard ground and can provide extra warmth on those cold days.
5. Available Shade
If you have a dog house set up, that is a great start for providing shade. But on those hot months, the dog house can trap the heat inside and make it hotter than the outside temperature. Dogs can overheat easily, by providing other shade resources like trees or a shade canopy gives them an alternative place to stay cool.
6. Dog Pool
If you live in a state that has extreme heat in the summer. You might want to try having a small pool for your dog. Not only will it keep them cool, it also provides them with another activity to help them stay in the yard. Kiddy pools and small ponds can be a great way to incorporate this into your backyard.
7. Dining Area
Having an area dedicated to your dog’s food and water is a great idea. This gives them consistency on where they can always go when hungry or thirty. It is a good idea to find a place that is out of direct sunlight, as this could evaporate their water supply at a quick rate. Keeping your pet hydrated is important in those summer months.
For those who have a large dog or extra large dog, you could invest into an elevated dog feeder. This lifts their food and water bowl up higher, making a less of a reach for them to get what they need.
8. Dog Chew Toys
Having some type of entertainment for your dog could help keep them content with being in the backyard all day. Pay attention to what types of toys or chews your dog particularly love. Having a few of these laying around the yard could keep them occupied.
9. Dog Sandpit
Some people have troubles with their dogs always digging up their yards or trying to dig at the fence line. Some dogs just like to dig. They do it for exercise, curiosity, and by instinct. There are some techniques to discourage your dog from digging, but something you just need to compromise.
One way to combat this is giving them a controlled area to do it. Creating an area is easy and isn’t very expensive.
- Find a Spot – Determine a spot that both sun and shade that is away from another you don’t want sand in. Such as a garden or children’s play area.
- Figure out how big of a space – some recommend around a six foot square.
- Make your area – You can either dig a hole, put a wooden frame around the area, or even use a plastic kiddy pool.
- Fill with sand
- Add toys – Burring toys and other objects can give your dog a sense of reward while he is digging. By having a positive response to his activity, he will continue to stay in that spot versus going somewhere else.
10. Agility Course
You might think this is over the top and, in some cases, it might be. But if you have an energetic dog this could help you burn some of that energy. You don’t need to go crazy with this. You can set up a fairly easy DIY agility course.
- Weaves – You can cut PVC pipe and stick them up vertically or set up plastic cones.
- Jumps – A broomstick on a couple of cinder blocks will work.
- Hoops – A tire, hula hoop, or bendable pipe.
- Tunnel – Kids play tunnel, a tarp draped over some wooden stakes or a large diameter pipe.
11. Dog Door
There are cases where you would like giving your dog the choice of being inside or outside and a doggy door can provide that. This gives the ability to go out and get some exercise and explore the fence line. But the ability to come inside if they don’t enjoy the weather outside.